Modern Love

STRANGER, THE - Watching Dead Empires in Decay

"Polymath James Leyland Kirby must surely have one of the most confounding CVs in the business: he spent years taking the piss out of the music industry with anthems rallying against the (VV)MCPS, he notoriously fell out with various well-known record labels for reasons youll just have to Google, goaded Aphex Twin with a series of tributes" and channeled his love of everything from Falco ("Rock Me Amadeus"), Chris De Burgh, Frankie Goes To Hollywood, and Stockport karaoke nights into a stream of increasingly bizarre 7"s back in the early noughties. But at the same time, he was responsible for releasing some of the very earliest material from Boards Of Canada (Hell Interface: 1997), made a ruck of frankly groundbreaking industrial electronic records, brought new beat to the worlds attention and, in 1999, made his first album as The Caretaker, a project that would go on to release some of the most loved ambient/Lynchian albums of recent times. Since then, hes also produced an incredible suite of releases under his own name, scored various film projects and released three EPs under the Intrigue & Stuff banner which are so ahead of their time, they might just start sinking in properly by the end of the decade. All of which brings us to Watching Dead Empires in Decay, a new album recorded under another of Kirbys pseudonyms, The Stranger, and released on Modern Love, a label that has been close to Kirby through these last eventful 15 years. Its a dream album for the label: perhaps the most ambitious of Kirbys career so far. Its complex, singular, enigmatic, percussive, dark, and you just cant work out how it was constructed. Gone are the sampled 78s of The Caretaker, but it also doesnt exactly sound electronic -- you just cant quite fathom how any of it was put together: Field recordings? Found sounds? Sheets of metal scraped and hammered? Drum machines re-wired? Its stark and unsettling, haunted, even troubling -- but often just beautiful. It starts with the sharp clang of opener "We Are Enemies but Not Here" before the woozy percussive crawl "So Pale It Shone in the Night" sucks you into a bare landscape: somewhere between Eraserhead and Fumio Hayasakas music for Akira Kurosawa. And then there are moments that break through the tension with clarity and familiarity, nostalgia even: "Where Are Our Monsters Now, Where Are Our Friends?" could have been made by Boards Of Canada if they had taken a turn into more noxious terrain back in 1998, while "Spiral of Decline" offsets the drum programming youd most likely associate with a Powell record with an oblique sense of timing and space. It all ends with "About to Enter a Strange New Period," an unusual, vaporous coda that offers no resolution -- it just shuts proceedings down with nothing settled. Mastered and cut by Matt Colton; artwork by Guy Denning." -Modern Love.

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After nearly a decade of false starts, multiple game plans veering off the rails, and a handful of shattered hopes and/or dreams, the odyssey is finally complete—the new Fusetron site is here.

This is the first phase of a multipart rollout that will span the next few months: the currently browsable stock includes miscellaneous new releases from the past 8+ months (we have a lot of catching up to do), plus approximately a third of our backstock. Note that we’ve reduced/slashed prices on many titles and will continue to do so in order to make room for new stock. We’ll also be expanding / tweaking / improving / debugging the site itself (for example, we still have work to do on the automated international postage system, not to mention the inevitable inventory discrepancies that come with transferring an ancient and massive database to a new system).

Over the next few months, as we take inventory, clean house, and delve into our storage, we will be uploading thousands of additional items, gradually, on a near-daily basis. This will include the majority of the LPs, as well as many titles, in all formats, once thought long-gone. Many currently “sold out” items are likely to resurface.

Finally, once our general backstock is up (probably in the next two or three months) we’ll begin making our extensive stockpile of rarities available online for the first time: tons of random out-of-print titles, "deadstock," warehouse finds, secondhand collectibles, etc., accumulated over the past few decades.

Frequent/returning customers will be getting early access to these items. Details to follow on how this will work (a priority mailing list? a 'frequent flyer'-like program?), but it will not be based on dollars spent. We want to reward those who consistently support us, especially in the discogs marketplace era (to those who show up trying to poach five copies of a one-off rarity, and nothing else, ever… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ).

So—we suggest you take some time to dig through the site—even we’ve been surprised by what’s been turning up, and there’s much more to come.
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